If any of you have had extended issues with sleep, even with the understanding that frequent night waking is normal, as is needing to nurse to sleep, will you or did you do anything differently with your next child to try to avoid the issues you had with the first?
DS is 26 months and very, very dependent on nursing to sleep. If he can't nurse to sleep, he simply will not sleep. I really don't have a problem nursing him to sleep, and most of the time his night waking is fine with me, and I wouldn't give up our co-sleeping arrangement for anything, but...I've missed out on one too many weddings, one too many evening get-togethers, one too many date nights. No one else can get him to sleep. We tried a few times with my husband getting him to sleep while I was out of the house, and every time he just stayed up, happily, until past midnight when we'd throw in the towel and I'd come home (I think one of the times he fell asleep before I got home, but woke up within half an hour). Naps are the same - if I want to go have lunch with a friend and have DH put him down for a nap, as I hear other moms doing sometimes, he just won't nap. So with the next baby, I'll probably be more conscious of having DH do bedtime with frequency, so I at least have the option of being gone at bedtime or nap time.
My ds was a frequent nurser and used to wake up often at night until his preschool years.
The only thing that I did differently with dd was accepting that this is how (most) babies and toddlers sleep. She was in my bed starting from the first day, no more fighting to put baby in the crib after multiple night feedings. No trying to make her sleep in a different room, like I tried with her brother.
I don't miss any outings without the kids though, as my dh was able to put them to bed while I was away (or their grandparents, when me and dh would go out). We had instances when the kids stayed up longer than they should, but they made up for the lost sleep the next day.
I'd rather take some time for myself (very rarely), even though it can mess up the kids schedule, so I can hang in for them. Otherwise, I would just be resentful and wouldn't be able to keep co-sleeping or nursing through the night.